How You Can Help Your Child Prepare For A Gap Year
Going on a gap year can be a thrilling experience for a young person. You get to travel around the world, experience your first taste of independence, and make lasting memories along the way.
While there are plenty for kids to be excited about, it can also provide new sources of concern for parents, ranging from whether locations are safe to how your son or daughter will manage their money.
The good news is that there are things that you can do to help get them ready for the adventure of a lifetime, whether they are taking part in Tanzania volunteering or going backpacking around Europe. Let us take a look at some of the ways that you can prepare your child for a gap year.
#1 Help them to devise a plan
It is perfectly common for teenagers to know that they want to take a gap year but not sure what that will entail. Do not interpret it as a sign that they are not serious. Instead, sit down with them and talk about what they want out of a gap year and how they can make it happen in a realistic way.
#2 Help them to come up with ways of raising their own funds
They may not thank you at first, but motivate your child to fundraise for their trip by finding a job, selling belongings, or any number of other methods. It can actually be a really fun part of the process. It will make their gap year feel so much more meaningful, and it will reduce the risk that they will waste it all as soon as they arrive. It will also allow them to demonstrate how serious they are about taking a gap year.
#3 Teach them how to budget
Developing a travel budget is an essential part of any gap year planning. Once they have raised enough money, they can divide it up to ensure that it will cover the entire cost of their planned trip. Remember to budget for backpacking necessities, flights, lodging, food, and any activities or tours, as well as some extra for unexpected costs and emergencies.
#4 Support their plans
Keep a positive attitude and try to find ways to make their dream vacation a reality.
It is easy to get overwhelmed down in the particulars – and being the voice of reason is hugely necessary but try not to discourage or be negative. Remember, it’s their trip and a once in a lifetime opportunity.
#5 Teach them some practical life skills
Teaching them a few basic recipes and where to get inexpensive ingredients to make meals can significantly increase and boost their chances of eating well and staying healthy during their gap year. It will also facilitate them in saving money.
#6 Talk about how they can keep themselves safe
The chances of anything going majorly wrong on a gap year are narrow but providing your child with some basic safety advice can help ensure that nothing goes wrong.
Keeping an eye out for popular travel scams, having a list of emergency numbers to hand, and researching a location ahead of time are all small things that can make a huge difference in terms of safety.
Is your child preparing to go on a gap year? Drop me a line or two as always.